Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rogues, Spells, & Solos

In keeping with my interest in the Rogue type, I have been thinking about the way in which Rogues learn spells particularly the solo Rogue. In a group game it is simple enough especially if there is a Wizard in the party (as there should be). That Wizard starts with the Teacher spell which he can use to teach Rogues any spell. If the Rogue wants a spell that the Wizard does not know (or is unwilling to teach), the player could always seek out another Wizard through the Game Master and pay an exorbitant fee.

Solo adventures are, as always, a little different in that the player is also (effectively) the Game Master especially during the time between adventures when the Rogue would be trying to learn spells. Your Rogue may find some ancient scrolls in the course of an adventure or perhaps even learn a spell during an adventure, but most would be learned during his/her 'down time.' But how?

The simplest way to do this would be to assume that the Rogue could learn any spell he/she wants. But I prefer a bit more of a challenge. So, for each level of spell, make a Saving Roll on Luck (or Roguery if using 7th edition) to see if you can find a teacher. If you want a Level 1 spell, make a Level 1 Saving Roll on Luck/Roguery. For a Level 5 spell, make a Level 5 Saving Roll on Luck/Roguery. If you fail the Saving Roll, you must wait until the character completes another solo adventure before he/she tries to find a teacher for that spell again. You may try to find as many spells as you can afford, but you should only receive Adventure Points for these Saving Rolls if you actually obtain the spell being sought.

But how much would the spell cost? There are prices listed for each spell in the rulebook: 500 gp per level starting at 2nd level in 5th edition rules or 1000 gp per level in 7th edition. But these are the prices charged to Wizards by the Wizard's Guild. They will not teach Rogues, so Rogues are left to find unscrupulous Wizards to teach them spells on the sly. Of course the punishment for getting caught teaching Rogues magic is severe, so these Wizards would need the reward to outweigh the risk. So how much would the teacher charge? Two times as much? Three time? Ten times? Time for another Saving Roll, this time on Charisma or Roguery. Make your Saving Roll and determine your level of success. For each level of success deduct one from the multiplier on the table below; however the final cost must be at least twice the listed cost. Failing the Saving Roll simply means that you must use the listed multiplier. If you cannot pay the final price, you must wait until the character completes another solo adventure before trying to obtain the spell again (you'll have to start over by trying to find a teacher). No Adventure Points are awarded for this Saving Roll.

1st - 2nd Level : 3x
3rd - 4th Level : 4x
5th - 6th Level : 5x
7th - 8th Level : 6x
9th - 10th Level : 7x
11th - 12th Level : 8x
13th Level : 9x

Remember that according to the 5th edition rules, Rogues may not learn spells above 7th level; they're just too complicated. This restriction does not apply to the 7th edition rules. Also, in the 5th edition rules there is no cost listed for 1st Level spells. For this House Rule, assume that their base (Wizard) cost is 250 gp.

So there you have it, a simple House Rule involving only two Saving Rolls to determine what spells your solo Rogues can find a teacher for and how much they'll need to pay to learn them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

TrollsZine! #5 Approaches 500 Downloads!

Only two weeks after it's release, TrollsZine! #5 has been downloaded 478 times. I can certainly live with those numbers. I'm happy to see so many T&T fans out there. It definitely makes the labor worthwhile.

The submission window for TrollsZine! #6 will be open soon. For those who are interested in submitting to TrollsZine! please see the TrollsZine! thread at the Trollbridge.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

TrollsZine! #5 is Here!

TrollsZine! #5 is here! The fifth issue of the fan-created magazine for Tunnels and Trolls™, edited by Dan Hembree, contains 91 pages of quality content brought to you by the fans of the game for absolutely free. This issue features a solo adventure, “Beneath the Arena”, a GM adventure, “The Horned Hold”, and a short story, “Tall Tales from Trollstone Caverns.” TrollsZine! #5 also includes articles describing bards in T&T, new ideas for making zombies more terrifying, rules for chariots and barding, a fantasy post-apocalyptic campaign world, elaborations for unarmed combat, and clarifications of the 7th edition rules.

Contributors include Stephen Dove, Dan Hembree, Patrice Geille, W. Scott Grant, Tom K. Loney, Dan Prentice, Lee Reynoldson, Jerry Teleha, Mike Tremaine, David Ullery, and Justin Williams. TrollsZine! #5 is illustrated by Billiam Bamble, Alexander Cook, Patrick Crusiau, Stephen Dove, Jeff Freels, Andy Kelly, Steve Robertson, Simon Lee Tranter, David Ullery, Joshua Ullery, Zachary Ullery, and M.E. Volmar, with cover art by David Ullery.

TrollsZine! is a Trollbridge production brought to you with the kind support of Flying Buffalo Inc., Ken St. Andre, and Rick Loomis.

Get you digital copy of TrollsZine! #5 for FREE at RPGNow.

TrollsZine! #5 is my first issue as sole editor of the 'Zine. It has been quite an experience guiding this project from start to finish. I would like to thank all of the writers, artists, and copy editors that have helped to make this magazine possible. All of the material is freely donated by these talented and creative individuals. I hope that I have done their work justice.

Now go get your copy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

June's Lone Delver

This month's Lone Delver is another by Liz Danforth from Mike Stackpoles's solo adventure Sewers of Oblivion. Sewers is a high power solo adventure useable with characters with up to 425 combat adds (100-300 recommended for the greatest challenge). At the start of Sewers of Oblivion you are attacked by ruffians, stripped of everything, and then tossed down a sewer grate. From that point things start to get bad. I've never been able to successfully complete Sewers, but it is well worth the attempt.

This image above depicts a classic conundrum in solo adventures: do you release the beautiful (or handsome) prisoner?

Why is she locked up in the first place?

It could be that she is very dangerous and maybe needs to be locked up. Delving on your own means that you've got no one to watch your back if you release her and that ends up being the case. Releasing her may get you a dagger in the back.

Better to just leave her there. Right?

But what if it's a test of your compassion? Maybe if you just walk away you'll find yourself locked up in that cell as part of a magical trap?

Better try and let her out.

But what if her captor is standing by waiting for someone to release her? If you try to open the lock he or she may suddenly appear and turn you into a pile of cinders.

Maybe you shouldn't have opened the door to this room in the first place.